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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Common Myna / Indian Myna

Afrikaans name: Indiese Spreeu

Common Mynas like to share our gardens with us

Common Myna on a garden fence

Photo © Steven Herbert

Acridotheres tristis

The Common Myna is more commonly known as the Indian Myna. This bird is an introduced species in South Africa. Its population has grown tremendously as it spreads from town to town. It is most common around human habitation.

Despite being an introduced species it is loved and admired in some places. In Durban particularly it is used a symbol for some buses etc.

Common Mynas are typically seen in pairs, or small groups, but they often get together in huge numbers overnight. The noise at these roosts in the early evening is unbelievable.

Mynas pair for life and lay about 5 eggs at a time. Their nest sites are normally in holes under roofs or similar structures. They used to be infamous for building their nests in traffic lights, until the design was changed from a closed cylinder to one with an open base.

Mynas are members of the Starling family. They originate from Southern Asia.

Common Myna

Photo © Steven Herbert

They eat a wide variety of foods including insects, small mammals, fruit and seeds. They will readily eat leftover food put out by people.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 279

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 102

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 238

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 74

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 23

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 43

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 290

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 384

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 384

Newman's Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 94

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 311

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 509

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 521

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 667

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 665

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 370

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 404

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 2

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 174

List of South African Birds

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